Hummingcrow & Co.

pollinators

Seán   Pollinator Week Finale: A Tale of Two Pies  Kate

As you're all no doubt aware, today is Tau Day! So no further explanation is neede-

Quail ~ “...T..au...?”

Oh! It seems that Quinton is unfamiliar with this widely-celebrated and much-beloved human holiday. So before we continue, here's a brief bit of background:

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Kate  Pollinator Portraits: Skip and Sweat  Seán

Due to the current heat-spells in our region, we haven't been able to spend as much time as we'd like observing who's been buzzing and fluttering around our flowers during this year's Pollinator Week. Instead, we took to the shade and comfort of our workshop to continue our Little Paintings series. We each chose a species that caught our fancy and spent some quality time interpreting their likenesses and doing some deeper research into their lives & habits.

Here's a peek at our colour-testing sheets for the portraits— read on to see the results... 🌼 🐝- – -

Kate watercolour strip

Seán watercolour strip

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Kate   Pollinator Week: Got Nectar?

Looks like someone's had a busy day of pollinating while filling up on the sweet stuff!

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Seán   Pollinator Week: BC Bees & Wanna-bees

A bumble bee sipping at camas A happy bumble bee enjoying the offerings of a camas / kwetlal flower

A couple of months ago, Kate and I officially became certified pollinator stewards thanks to Island Pollinator Initiative's wonderful webinar series! The first session enlightened us about the importance of pollinators to food production and biodiversity, with a special focus on BC's native bees.

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Seán   Secret of the ghost swing

Trumpet Honeysuckle - 20.5.15

Known in some Salishan languages as the 'swing of the ghost' (or of the owl: q’ít’əәʔəәtsəәspəәlqwít’thəәʔ), this beautiful western trumpet honeysuckle provides food and shelter for at least 20 bird species in our area, and is also frequented by swallowtail butterflies. Likewise, amongst hominids, its nectar has served as a natural treat for children, its leaves and bark used for medicine, and its stems for building bridges.

Trumpet Honeysuckle - 20.5.15

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Seán   In Bloom: Nootka rose (Rosa nutkana)

Nootka Rose (Rosa nutkana) - 20.5.22

An early morning stroll during May to July (according to the altitude) may discover the year's first Nootka Rose. Who has not then savoured the pleasure of the moment, the visual delight of the elegant buds, and the dewey freshness of the blossoms, the memorable fragrance—both of flower and foliage.

— Lewis J. Clark, Wild Flowers of British Columbia

Named after Nootka Sound here on Vancouver Island (“Nootka” itself being derived from a Nuu-Chah-Nulth term) Nootka rose's thorny thickets make great habitat for birds and other small animals, and its flowers are loved by bees, wanna-bees, and butterflies. This qel'qulhp (Halkomelm for 'wild rose bush') has been traditionally used by many First Nations groups for a number of medicinal and culinary purposes.

Apparently this rose makes a tasty jelly or jam, which we'll have to try sometime.

Nootka Rose (Rosa nutkana) - 20.5.22

Seán   #Meanwhile

hoverfly (Criorhina nigripes) A fuzzy hoverfly (Criorhina nigripes) prepares for a busy day of pollinating.

March 16, '10: Hummingbirds & snow

Kate  New Year, New Nectar

Here on Hummingbird Hill, one of our most important duties is to keep the hummers happy. We have a handful of hummers year-round who regularly come to sip the sweet stuff from our two saucer-style feeders. When we were still new at it, we found it difficult to remember which of us changed the nectar last and when. This resulted in confusion and—more importantly—the potential risk of unhappy hummers.

So, I came up with a solution.

Enter: Nectar Refresh Schedule!

hhhummers banner

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Kate  Field Notes from Japan (日本からのフィールドノート)   Seán

こんばんは!

This week marks the 36th anniversary of Hummingbird Hill, and soon we'll officially be back in Metchosin to reflect, reorient, and prepare for the future. We have exciting plans for the new year, and will be busily laying the groundwork for the next chapter of Hummingcrow & Co. through the winter. We'll have a bit more to share on that front in our next post, but before we take a break? from our exploration of 日本, we thought we'd share a field report from our digital studies of two species which have delighted us over the past several weeks.


Kate head ~ Kate (ケイト): Hummingbird hawk-moth

rufous hummer vs hawk moth 「ハチドリ VS ホウジャク」illustration by Kate (ケイト)

While researching different 鳥 (birds) in Japan, we wondered if there was anything similar to a ハチドリ (hummingbird) there. Well, we discovered that they don’t have hummingbirds, but they do have amazing hummingmoths, known as 蜂雀 (literally “bee sparrow”) or hummingbird hawk-moth in English. The two of them are a case of convergent evolution— unrelated species in different places evolving similar traits to adapt to similar conditions—sharing the same hovering method and sipping nectar from flowers, pollinating along the way.

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